Lest any of my gentle readers be mistaken that we are living some kind of idyllic family life over here, I promised a “diamond in the rough” posting about finding real, nitty gritty grace this summer. And I will deliver.
Teething nightmares. Our hitherto 12-hour power sleeper woke us up in the wee hours of the night on multiple occasions this summer, one of which turned so drastic and desperate during our family vacation that we ended up packing him in the car at 2:00 am and driving him down Michigan’s coastline for an hour until he zonked out. Just when I thought we’d be those lucky parents who escaped the need for driving-lulled sleep.
At one point, his night wakings (and resulting hysterical crying jags) got so bad that I was convinced S. must have an ear infection. So I dragged him to the pediatrician and put him through the ringer of tests only to have her hand him back to me and shrug. “He’s perfectly fine. I guess it’s just really bad teething?” Sweet. Thanks.
But the glimpse of grace in all those terrible teething nights was the patience of my husband. I really, REALLY lack patience as a virtue. And my short temper is quick to flare up when patience runs off. So every time I thought I would either lose my mind or ship the baby off to Timbuctoo, F. stepped in with all the grace of a true fathering spirit. S’s new teeth and my preserved sanity bear witness to the glimpses of grace that F. gifts to us so consistently.
Strange childhood ailments. I honestly must have lost the section of my baby how-to books that deal with tropical diseases, because yet another new one crept into our home. Skin staph infection? My idle perusings of Reader’s Digests in doctors’ waiting rooms over the past decade have carefully instructed me that staph means only one thing: CERTAIN AND IMMEDIATE DEATH. So when the dermatologist finally gave us a diagnosis for S’s strange diaper rash (that had confounded not one, but two pediatricians) I was borderline hysterical.
Then my good doctor friend talked me off the ledge and informed me that it is quite common. And simply necessitated a gazillion rounds of antiobiotics (as well as three intensely hot, bleach-filled soakings of all our cloth diapers to make sure the germs were all dead for good) to clear it all up.
The grace in that latest medical adventure was this: after all my hysteria, I was able to calm down and realize that overall, we have been blessed with a very healthy child. And there are parents every day who receive truly devastating medical news about their children. I cannot imagine what that feels like.
So if a few months of thrush or a nasty skin infection are all we have had to deal with during year one of parenthood, I consider that a tremendous blessing. To say nothing of the fact that we have affordable health and good doctors. God’s grace can be found both in what we have, and what we have not.
What about you? Where have you glimpsed God’s grace this summer?